Stories of Grace and Truth

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This story project is a joint effort of Disability Concerns (CRC), Faith and Hope Ministries, and Disability Awareness (RCA).

Mountains (A Poem and Paintings) by Michèle Gyselinck (more)

Depression (A Painting) by Michèle Gyselinck (more)

Unashamed (A Personal Story) by Kristina Vander Lugt
Kristina invites readers to "Take this journey with me and see how an unwell mentally ill person thinks and behaves." (more)

Depression is a Dark Poison (a personal story) by Larry Van Essen
Depression is nearly impossible to describe. I was looking for a word or phrase that captured the heart of it, and I found it in an article by Dr. John Timmerman, “At the most unexpected moments it slips people its dark poison. One scarcely notices the initial sting. . . . " (more)

How Long, O Lord (Psalm 13) (a meditation) by CKH
I don’t know how I can withstand many more periods of grave darkness. “Oh, you can do it. Your faith is strong,” someone might say. But in the darkness, God seems invisible. (more)

Love One Another (a eulogy) by Connie Mulder
John Richard Kromminga, a gentle giant, little brother to me and my sister, Kathy. Wonderful loved uncle to our children and great uncle to our grandchildren. John Richard struggled with difficulties all of his life (more)

Mental Illness Is Not a Sin (a personal story) Name withheld by request
I did not realize I had bipolar disorder until my marriage ended. The committee in the church at that time believed my husband’s lies about me. (more)

The Tomb Is Not My Home (A Painting) by CKH (more)

Dandelion Snow (a poem) by Laura Bokma
I was up on a hill, tethering at twilight, The sweet-smelling grass that was neatly raked in rows. The tractor’s tether tips were messing with all their might, When suddenly a winsome wonder came into sight: (more)

Anonymous (A Personal Story) by CKH
During the past year I sought anonymity while I worshiped. I wasn’t rejecting the church where I belonged, nor were they rejecting me. I wanted to be where few might know I was ill with depression (more)

Day 11 (a personal story) by Christy Miller
Mental illness isn't something I ever thought I would face in my lifetime. Not me . . . I've got it all together! Or so I thought. (more)

My Closest Friend(s) (a personal story) by CKH
I look normal. I am a creative, people-loving person. But there are times that I don’t feel normal. Since high school I have had periods of depression lasting months. (more)

My Journey with Anxiety (a personal story) by Amy Marie Toornstra
If there was anyone ready to embark on her college career, it was me. I had a twinge of nervousness too, but I always kept it buried at the back of my mind. September changed to October and those nervous feelings surfaced and grew. (more)

Our Third Son (a mother's story) Name withheld by request
Our third (and first biological) son was born in December 1967. He was a lovable child like his two older brothers. In 1985, the year in which he turned eighteen, the Lord permitted this devastating brain illness (schizophrenia) to affect him almost all year in some way or other. In fact, the illness left none of us untouched. (more)

The Lessons I Learned (a personal story) by Olga Nienhuys
All my life I had been searching. (By the way, I am 64 now.) I felt either really good or really down, and as I got older my down periods went on longer and longer. The pit of my stomach always felt sick. However, I went on with life, and I put on a good front. No one ever knew anything was ever wrong. (more)

The Lord Delivered Me from All My Fears (a funeral meditation) by Duane Kelderman
John Richard suffered a chemical imbalance in his brain that caused him to be overwhelmed by his fears. Thank God that he has now been delivered from all his fears. (more)

Living with Mental Illness (a personal story) by Walt Vanderwerf
During the week of June 5, 2006, a door was closed somewhere inside my mind. My eyes acted like a video camera. From time to time I talked to the screen like I was part of the scenery, yet I knew I was not an actor of any consequence. I was way back behind the last row seats, just watching. (more)

Sharing in His Suffering... (a mother's story) Name withheld by request
This morning I received a “Care Page” update from a friend whose young daughter is ill with cancer. I appreciate getting the Care Page updates so that I know how people are doing and how best to pray for them. This morning my 16-year-old son had a serious rage. (more)

Post-partum Depression (a personal story) by Robyn Bezuyen
About a month and a half after our first daughter was born, I started down a long journey of postpartum depression. For a year I went undiagnosed, going to the doctor complaining of extreme tiredness, severe mood swings, and disinterest in daily activities. (more)

Depression (A Personal Poem) by Robyn Bezuyen
The darkness is strong. It has presence. I can feel it. (more)

Dad's Psychosis (a daughter's story) by Lynn Wielenga
My father loves life and likes to laugh. He enjoys being with people and talking with anyone who will listen to his jokes and stories. When my father experienced a frightening psychotic episode in 2007, our family went into collective shock. (more)

Depression (A Parent's Story) Name withheld by request
I've been depressed three times, each lasting three to six months. Two of my sisters coped with post-partum depression. My dad sought counsel in the past year for depression. Now our son who is 22 years old is trying to cope with it. My son’s depression hurts the most. (more)

Dual Diagnosis (a mother's story) by Cornelia Smele
This is a story of hope and grace. It is the story of my son John who was diagnosed with autism when he was five years old. As time went on and John reached his teen years, he developed mental illness as well. (more)

Schizophrenia: An Inside View (a personal story) by Marvin Alphs
I have mental illness that includes schizophrenia, which has seven major symptoms: hallucinations, obsessing, memory loss, paranoia, apathy, delusions, and depression. (more)

My Silent Enemy (a personal story) by Brenda Dalecke
Through no aspiration of my own, I’ve become a speaker, writer and advocate for mental illness victims, myself included. My all-American upbringing did little to prepare me for the silent enemy that would eventually claim my life, destroy my soul, shred my heart, and leaving me frail and vulnerable. (more)

The Effects of Mental Illness (a personal story) by Laura Bokma
The unthinkable happened. I got so sick that I could not think straight. Literally. My mind that had helped me achieve scholastic awards in high school became scatterbrained and paranoid. (more)

Tormented (A Father's Poem) by Richard K. Hadley
Our son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the seventh grade. I wrote this Pantoum to capture a snapshot of what he was like before he became ill as well as the initial period of his mental illness. Writing the poem was also therapeutic for me. Thank God, Tim’s mental health has improved. (more)

The Scourge of Mental Illness (a reflection) by Bert Zwiers
I grew up with mental illness in the family. I watched my parents struggle to cope with this often-misunderstood disability. Fifty years later, we are still trying to deal with it as everyday the specter of misunderstood behavior invades our otherwise normal lives. (more)

My Goal as a Writer (a personal story) by Larry S. Nicholas
I am a mentally ill man who wants to share with the world and especially the Church, about God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. (more)

Posted in:
  • Disability Concerns > Mental Health
  • Resource > Story or Testimony

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